Regional Director for Occitania-Montpellier
24/02/2017 - Article
The MUSE (Montpellier UniverSity of Excellence) project was launched with the aim of founding an internationally recognized university that would make Montpellier the European capital of health and the agro-environment. The project, submitted by the University of Montpellier in response to the I-Site project launched by the French government, has just been selected for funding. MUSE associates all the research establishments, the university and four grandes écoles in Montpellier. CIRAD played an active part in this success.
The scientific community in Montpellier has just been awarded the I-Site (Initiatives – Science – Innovation – Territories) label. The project in question, dubbed MUSE (for "Montpellier UniverSity of Excellence) and led by the University of Montpellier, has 18 partners*. The I-Site call for submissions from the French government set out to recognize 12 universities of excellence in the country. For Montpellier University of Excellence, the aim was to establish itself as a gateway from Europe to southern countries, for research in the fields of health, agriculture and the environment, and to boost its international reputation.
MUSE will be working to address three major challenges for the 21st century , in line with the UN agenda for 2030: to contribute, through research and training, to feeding a global population set to reach nine billion people by 2050; to manage natural resources sustainably; and to tackle chronic and emerging diseases. It will be building long-term partnerships between the scientific world and the private sector (competitiveness clusters or businesses).
"We are delighted to have been recognized for our collective potential as regards research and training in fields that form the heart of our mandate as a national research establishment" , says Michel Eddi, CIRAD President Managing Director and member of the five-person team that defended the submission in front of an international jury. "With MUSE, it is the whole Montpellier site that will be changing dimension, with a joint research and training strategy and greater international appeal, geared towards southern countries."
With a strike force of 6000 scientists and 50 000 students, including 400 researchers currently permanently based in the intertropical zone, MUSE has a globally unrivalled network and expertise in southern countries. CIRAD's regional directors and the IRD's overseas representatives have now become representatives of the new MUSE university. "Our entire network of partners in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America will now benefit from greater support in terms of research and also student training and reception on the Montpellier site", Michel Eddi adds.